The Mt. Hood baseball squad came into the NWAC Tournament on Thursday riding a wave of momentum. Despite having a losing record, the Saints rallied for three straight wins in the Southern Super Regionals to advance to the NWAC Tourney.
However, this was not the way that Mt. Hood wanted to start their tourney run.
Lower Columbia only outhit Mt. Hood 11-8, but the Red Devils scored four runs apiece in the second and fourth innings while the Saints couldn't manage to come up with hits with men in scoring position. When it was all said and done, Lower Columbia defeated Mt. Hood by a score of 10-1.
"Falling behind early and giving away a bunch of free bases killed us...The two four-spots we gave up really decided the game," Mt. Hood head coach Bryan Donahue said. "When it is eight hits to 11 hits, but we end up losing by nine, obviously something is going wrong on the pitching end of things."
The Saints started with Connor Stevenson on the mound, who had been the most consistent pitcher on the Saints roster. Stevenson led Mt. Hood in wins (four) and innings pitched (67) this season. However, it was clear early on that Stevenson didn't have his best stuff.
Stevenson got through the first inning without an issue, but after getting the first two outs in the bottom of the second, the Red Devils were able to string four runs together on four hits, a walk and a hit-batsmen to take the early lead.
Look for the full version in the May 30 print edition.